The true story of America’s first legal marijuana smoker was chronicled in 1979 by Michael J. Weiss. For the first time in digital format, here is his report on the first sit down with the Legend, Robert Randall, the first man to legally smoke pot in this country.
Known just as much for his music as his avid use of marijuana, Bob Marley had long been an advocate for the use of this natural drug. While Marley mainly “smoked the pots” due to his strict practice of the Rastafarian religion, where the use of “ganga” is a holy sacrament, others use the drug for a variety of reasons. Its soothing effects are enough to justify its use by some, while many have turned to marijuana for its medicinal benefits. For those willing to take the risk, marijuana cultivation and distribution is HIGHLY profitable, and there are a lucky few who have made it out alive of the trade to tell their stories of the old days. Today these tales of the early days of marijuana dealing, smoking, and promoting, seem as old as the american wester. But the resurgence of these near forgotten tales of fact based fiction give tremendous insight into what lies ahead of us. A look back gives us a glimpse into a future where the cut throat dealers are big companies, and the heroes, the small independents who do it for the glory.
I was talking to my good friend "the worm," whom I met because he was working as the worm in the bottom of the Mexican tequila bottles from which I was liberally drinking when they came in. I knew right away that they were Americans, not because that's the only clientele that this sleazy tourist trap just over the border gets, although it is, but because they had University of Southern California written all over their faces. And all over their T-shirts.
The marijuana you smoke may already be legal, if courts listen to the most current botanical information, the argument goes like this. By present federal law, marijuana is defined as one particular plant species: Cannabis sativa, identified by Linnaeus in 1753. According to the best botanical research now available, however, there are several other species of cannabis. Among the species accepted by other governments and botanists around the world are Cannabis indica, classified by Lamarck in 1783, and Cannabis ruderalis, established by the Russian botanist Janischewsky in 1924. When a whole, mature plant is available for inspection, botanists can with some assurance identify the species to which it belongs, but when the plant is chopped up, dried, cleaned, and popped into a baggie ready to be blazed, it is impossible to tell which species it is. Therefore the government, when it busts you for a lid, cannot prove that what you possess is in fact the forbidden species Cannabis sativa and not one of the others; the government can't prove that the weed you have is illegal.
The federal government is still adamant about withholding country wide legalization, yet states around the country are hacking away at marijuana restrictions which benefit local economies. Colorado and Washington are the only two states so far to pass voter proposals of fully legalizing marijuana for recreational use and even with certain stipulations in the law in place, the rewards have been ample. Colorado is collecting huge amounts in tax revenues since sales started in the beginning of 2015. Washington, on the other hand, has not executed and utilized the laws as well as Colorado, but is still predicted to have similar rewards over time. Regardless of the differences in the industries and laws of all 50 states, medical marijuana dispensaries, the donation system, and collective gardens all work the same. This will be a short transitional period. Colorado is single-handedly rebuilding its educational system with marijuana tax surpluses.
“Whadaya mean, you don’t know if you should try it?” Jack screamed at his father. “Do you know how hard it was for me to get this stuff? Do you have any idea?”